The contentious (and absurd) concept of “loss and damage” compensation for climate change took several steps forward last week at the Bonn UN climate summit. In addition to a packed two day conference, we now have an established cost estimate.
Loss and damage is diplomatic code for the idea that the developed countries, especially America, should pay the developing countries for the bad things that they attribute to climate change. This includes pretty much all bad weather, plus the supposed effects of sea level rise, and who knows what else.
Here is a clear policy proposal that came up during the conference:
“Resources to offset climate-related losses and damages need to be scaled up and the perpetrators, not the victims, must pay. Serious consideration must be given to solutions like a climate damages tax on fossil fuel extraction or consumption, a climate levy on those sectors that contribute the most to climate change and more impactful carbon pricing schemes. These mechanisms could raise the hundreds of billions of dollars a year that are necessary, could help to reduce the production of greenhouse gases and could be designed to respond faster to immediate or slowly unfurling climate disasters.”
So, for example, a gasoline tax throughout America and the rest of the developed world might be part of the proposed loss and damage compensation picture. I am not making this up.
That this scheme is under serious discussion at UN climate conferences is simply not being reported in the American mainstream media. It is however being widely reported in the developing world, with great enthusiasm. Of course they are all for it.
The initial cost of this absurd compensation scheme is now generally pegged at a nice round $300 billion a year. This is from a report by the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation, which was released at last year’s summit. This is on top of the mythical $100 billion a year that the developed countries are supposed to pay the developing ones for cutting their CO2 emissions and adapting to climate change.
But there is in principle no limit, because the list of speculative bad stuff supposedly due to human caused climate change is endless. Here is a revealing part of a joint statement issued a few months ago by government ministers from Dominica and Vanuatu, in favor of the UN’s loss and damage compensation scheme:
“A few months ago, Hurricane Maria caused economic losses and damages of 226% of Dominica’s GDP. Only two years before, Tropical storm Erika cost Dominica 90% of GDP, and Tropical Cyclone Pam battered Vanuatu, costing 64% of Vanuatu’s GDP.”
In other words these tiny countries stand to collect relatively huge amounts every time a hurricane or tropical storm hits, in severe cases multiples of their entire GDP. No wonder they want this so much. Imagine a big storm tripling your national economy (at someone else’s expense).
The big two day conference on this vast money making UN scheme was called the Suva Expert Dialogue. A search on Google news for this term finds no major US news outlet even mentioning it, or the issue of loss and damage.
Do they think that we are not interested in the prospect of being in effect fined trillions of dollars for all of the bad weather in most of the world? Or maybe they think that if we knew about this absurd scheme we might not support the UN’s climate change crusade? My guess is the latter.